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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka " Remo: Unarmed and Dangerous" or "Il Mio nome è Remo Williams")

directed by Guy Hamilton
USA 1985

When a street-smart NYPD cop (Fred Ward) regains consciousness after a bizarre mugging, he has a new face and a new identity! Now he's Remo Williams, the #1 recruit of a top-secret organization, and he's toppling evil at every turn – even atop the Statue of Liberty – in this "spectacular and funny adventure film" (Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune)! Trained by a quirky Korean martial arts master (Joel Grey) to dodge bullets, brave terrifying heights and thwart attackers with his bare hands, Remo becomes the ultimate criminal exterminator. But when he faces off against a corrupt millionaire and his army of henchmen, the real adventure begins!

***

First they faked his death and gave him a new identity. Now a top secret organisation is training a former New York cop to combat corrupt forces operating outside of the law. His mentor, Chiun, is an ageing Korean master of the martial arts who can run on water and dodge speeding bullets.

Born on the pages of Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir’s The Destroyer series of men’s adventure novels, Remo Williams was placed in the capable hands of Bond director Guy Hamilton (Goldfinger, The Man with the Golden Gun) for his big-screen outing. Fred Ward (Tremors) plays the trainee assassin, with Academy Award-winner Joel Grey (Cabaret) occupying the role of Chiun.
With its classic set-piece atop the Statue of Liberty, much-loved score by Craig Safan and a healthy sense of its own silliness, Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins… offers up a cracking slice of mid-eighties action.

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 11th, 1985 - USA

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Comparison:

MGM - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Japanese - Region 2 - NTSC vs. Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray vs. Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Japanese - Region 2 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

  

Distribution

MGM

Region 1  - NTSC

MGM
Region 2 - NTSC
Arrow
Region 'B' -
Blu-ray
Twilight Time
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Runtime 2:01:12 2:01:00 2:01:18.145 2:01:19.522
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.57 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.75
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 48,070,323,799 bytes

Feature Size:  38,136,450,432 bytes

Average Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

Disc Size: 44,872,577,987 bytes

Feature Size:  29,185,001,472 bytes

Average Bitrate: 23.98 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes

Bitrate:

MGM

 

Bitrate: Japan

 

Bitrate: Arrow Blu-ray

 

Bitrate: Twilight Time Blu-ray

 

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)

English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 320 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 320 kbps
Isolated Music and Effects:

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2069 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2069 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1889 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1889 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Isolated Score:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2007 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2007 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Subtitles English, French, Spanish and none Japanese and none English (SDH), none English (SDH), none
Features Release Information:
Studio: M G M, Inc

Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen (Standard) - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical trailer
• Full-screen format

DVD Release Date: July 15, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: M G M, Inc

Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen (Standard) - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical trailer

• Text screen Cast Bios (in Japanese)

 

DVD Release Date: May 23rd, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 28

Release Information:
Studio:
Arrow

 

1.85:1 aspect ratio

Disc Size: 48,070,323,799 bytes

Feature Size:  38,136,450,432 bytes

Average Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary with producers Larry Spiegel and Judy Goldstein
• Remo, Rambo, Reagan and Reds: The Eighties Action Movie Explosion – all-new feature-length documentary from High Rising Productions focusing on a decade of cinematic destruction and Remo Williams’s place among the carnage. Includes new interviews with genre expert Bey Logan, Remo producers Larry Spiegel and Judy Goldstein, celebrated directors Sam Firstenberg (American Ninja) and Mark L. Lester (Commando), producers Don Borchers (Angel) and Garrick Dion (Drive), filmmaker and scholar Howard S. Berger and Professor Susan Jeffords (author of Hard Bodies: Hollywood Masculinity in the Reagan Era) (1:06:33)
• When East Met West – Joel Grey reflects on his turn as Chiun (10:00)
• Changing Faces – make-up expert Carl Fullerton discusses his Oscar-nominated work on Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins…(10:54)
• Notes for a Nobleman – composer Craig Safan talks about his classic score (13:28)
• Theatrical Trailer (2:55)
• Reversible Sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by The Red Dress
• Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the origins of Remo Williams by Barry Forshaw and an on-set report from American Cinematographer magazine

Blu-ray Release Date:
July 6th, 2014
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio:
Twilight Time

 

Disc Size: 44,872,577,987 bytes

Feature Size:  29,185,001,472 bytes

Average Bitrate: 23.98 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
Audio Commentary with Film Historians Eddy Friedfeld, Lee Pfeiffer, and Paul Scrabo
Created, The Destroyer: Writing Remo Williams (17:08)
Unarmed and Dangerous: Producing Remo Williams (21:50)
Secrets of Sinanju: Training Remo Williams (8:45)
Balance of Power: Designing Remo Williams (15:04)
Assassin’s Tune: Composing Remo Williams (13:45)

Still and Promotional Gallery
Isolated Score Track
Original Theatrical Trailer (2:57)

• 8-page liner notes by Julie Kirgo
Limited to 3,000 units

 

Blu-ray Release Date: September, 2016
Transparent Blu-ray case

Chapters 24

 

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were obtained directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Twilight Time Blu-ray Region FREE - October 2016: Less technically robust than the Arrow but it still look very similar and excellent in-motion. We'll give a small nod to the Region 'B' in-motion but it's not a deal-breaker. We've compared 5 captures below.

Twilight Time go DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 2069 kbps (24-bit) and my ears can't detect too much difference with how I remember the Arrow - equally as robust and the Safan theme is still uplifting. Twilight Time also add optional English (SDH) subtitles but their Blu-ray disc is region FREE.

Twilight Time add some different supplements starting with an audio commentary with Film Historians Eddy Friedfeld, Lee Pfeiffer, and Paul Scrabo and 5 production featurettes totaling over 1 1/4 hours worth on writing, producing, designing, composing and training for the film. I don't have my Arrow edition handy but the Craig Safan piece may be duplicated - sounds familiar to me. They are well-produced. Twilight Time add their usual isolated score plus a trailer, stills and promotional gallery and and an 8-page liner notes leaflet with essay by Julie Kirgo. It is limited to 3,000 units.

Still love this film - lots of adventurous fun. This is a great Blu-ray edition for region 'A'ers or those who can't indulge in the Arrow.

***

ADDITION: Arrow Blu-ray - July 14': Colors take quite the shift in the new Blu-ray from Arrow. Flesh tones warm and other colors gain richness as the overall image seems darker. We have the 1.85:1, original, aspect ratio but there is more information on all four sides of the frame than the widescreen SD out of Japan. This particular framing seems to best suit Andrew Laszlo's cinematography. What I notice now is that the DVDs look a shade vertically stretched to me (abnormally longer faces). I can't speak to the accuracy in accordance with the theatrical appearance but this 1080P with a max'ed out bitrate sure provides a great HD video presentation looking very smooth in-motion and totally artifact-free. Another triumph for Arrow - no one else would do such a robust rendering of this, huge, cult-classic film.

The feature's audio is transferred via a linear PCM 2.0 channel at 2304 kbps. Effects have some depth but the memorable Craig Safan (notable for the theme to the TV show 'Cheers' among many other composing credits) score is the biggest beneficiary. It sounds crisp and clear in the lossless. There is also an isolated and effects track option - likewise in linear PCM 2.0 channel. This Arrow Blu-ray has optional English subtitles (see sample below). The Blu-ray disc is region 'B'-locked.

The disc is stacked with supplements starting with an informative audio commentary with producers Larry Spiegel and Judy Goldstein. Fans should indulge and enjoy. Beyond that we have an hour 6-minute documentary from High Rising Productions entitled Remo, Rambo, Reagan and Reds: The Eighties Action Movie Explosion. It focuses on a decade of cinematic destruction and Remo Williams’s place among the carnage. There are new interviews with genre expert Bey Logan, Remo producers Larry Spiegel and Judy Goldstein, celebrated directors Sam Firstenberg (American Ninja) and Mark L. Lester (Commando), producers Don Borchers (Angel) and Garrick Dion (Drive), filmmaker and scholar Howard S. Berger and Professor Susan Jeffords (author of Hard Bodies: Hollywood Masculinity in the Reagan Era). When East Met West spends 10-minutes with Joel Grey reflecting on his role as Chiun. Changing Faces has 11-minutes with make-up expert Carl Fullerton discussing his Oscar-nominated work on Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins. Notes for a Nobleman has composer Craig Safan talking about his classic score for almost 14-minutes. There is also a Theatrical Trailer and the package has a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by 'The Red Dress' and inside is an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the origins of Remo Williams by Barry Forshaw and an on-set report from American Cinematographer magazine.

What an amazing package for such a lovable film - one that is easy to revisit at any time. Strongly recommended!

***

ON THE DVDs: The Region 1 version is not totally 'Open Matte'. You are still losing a small amount of information on the sides of the picture as you can tell by the images below. BUT, as you can also plainly see you get more information in the Full-screen version that in the Region 2 widescreen (almost 20% more). The Region 1 is also sharper than the Region 2 DVD. For those that have widescreen TV's they can simply zoom in and miss a little more than when most studious anamorphisize a picture from 1.85->1.78 (approx 4%). Both these images show some good film grain and limited Extras (none really -  aside from a trailer).

NOTE: Rickard says: Well, there sure is stuff visible that should not be seen (in the Region 1)! At 40:55, Remo starts jumping on things in the apartment, there is a rig visible in the ceiling which helps him jump!

- Gary W. Tooze


Menus

(
MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Japanese - Region 2 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


Notice at the beginning of the Region 1 MGM DVD version


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

Subtitle Sample

 

Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Japanese - Region 2 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

NOTE The massive amount of information shown above Chiun's head and below the mat in the Full screen.

 


 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Japanese - Region 2 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Japanese - Region 2 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Japanese - Region 2 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Japanese - Region 2 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


 Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Arrow Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-rays

Extras:

Blu-rays

 

Box Covers

  

Distribution

MGM

Region 1  - NTSC

MGM
Region 2 - NTSC
Arrow
Region 'B' -
Blu-ray
Twilight Time
Region FREE -
Blu-ray



 

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Gary Tooze

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